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Discussion How to I learn to like the right games?

GamerJM

Bob-omb
Honestly, every example you gave in the OP just sounds like you prefer newer games with more QOL features over older games with higher quantity of content and fan favorite-design decisions.

If you, like, genuinely want to see what people see in the other games though, I would like take a good effort to go back to them, sit down and really play them again, and read more about why fans like them. I used to be a bit similar; I shifted from being a Brawl>Melee guy to being a Melee>Brawl guy once I got into the competitive Smash scene and really dug into the games, and shifted to preferring 64 to Galaxy 2 when I read more about and understood more about 64's movement mechanics after watching a lot of speedruns. Of course I also spent dozens of hours playing both games again before reaching those conclusions. Of course, you might not come to that conclusion. I've read lots of arguments about why the gen 2 Pokemon games aren't actually that good because of level balancing, and while I acknowledge that as a truth, it doesn't make those games not my second favorite generation. But I do find understanding the perspectives of others something that enriches the hobby.
 
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Nmanic

Piranha Plant
Pronouns
He/Him
Bit of a tangent, but I need to comment on this.

Videogames are electronic toys. The debate should not be if videogames are art or not. It should be why toys in general aren't art. It being an electronic toy doesn't mean it can't be art, but being a toy shouldn't automatically be a dismissal of its status as art.

Is Lego art? The designers that come up with the sets are masters of their craft, trying to figure out how to make the kits resemble stuff and still be fun to play with on a parts budget. Are Transformers art? The engineers that need to come up with a design that works out as a vehicle and as a robot and still keep both functional are nothing sort of wizards.

Videogames are toys. Toy design is art.
I fundamentally disagree with the premise that video games are toys. On some level, video games can be functionally similar to toys, but "toy", by most definitions, carries a connotation of being something primarily made for amusement (mostly for children).

Games are way too diverse in nature to be reduced to "toy" as a definition, even if they can be similar to or used in the same way as toys. They are not always made for amusement. Oftentimes, the medium is used to fulfill the creative desires of an artist who feel they can best get their message across through a game. As an interactive medium, games combine several forms of art, and they offer something to the world that music, visual arts, and toys cannot. I'm not saying toys don't have their own artistic value, but I think they deserve to have their own distinct category, and discussing games as a medium that's gone beyond simply being "toys" is important in legitimizing its artistic value.

I don't agree the discussions should be tied together, but, I would be with you in arguing that toy design is art.

Edit: a simpler way to sum up how I feel-- some games are similar to/designed like toys, but that doesn't mean the medium as a whole should be considered a part of the toy category.
 
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Vookatos

Cappy
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I also have the worst gaming opinion of "TTYD is a bad video game" and preferring Color Splash and Origami King. I just don't like games that waste my time, and the team that made first three Paper Marios seemed to LOVE jokes at the expense of the player combined with revolutionary gameplay of "go left, go right, hit wall, go left, get key, go right, hit new wall, etc"

This opinion was so unacceptable that some rando found me on twitter, wrote a manuscript in replies and blocked me before I could read it. Serious stuff, those video games are.

Weirdly enough first Paper Mario is probably the least guilty one with chapters 2, 4, and... Was Flower Fields 7? that one. Being backtrack-heavy but featuring hubs, mazes and shortcuts. I'll always prefer a tightly paced game to a mindnubbing experience which asks you to do the same thing but twice! I suppose that's also why I prefer Mario 3 with its shorter levels to Mario World, where secret exits are usually towards the end, and tons of levels are autoscrollers.
 

Tangerine_Cookie

Style Savvy Suppliant
Pronouns
She/Her
I fundamentally disagree with the premise that video games are toys. On some level, video games can be functionally similar to toys, but "toy", by most definitions, carries a connotation of being something primarily made for amusement (mostly for children).

Games are way too diverse in nature to be reduced to "toy" as a definition, even if they can be similar to or used in the same way as toys. They are not always made for amusement. Oftentimes, the medium is used to fulfill the creative desires of an artist who feel they can best get their message across through a game. As an interactive medium, games combine several forms of art, and they offer something to the world that music, visual arts, and toys cannot. I'm not saying toys don't have their own artistic value, but I think they deserve to have their own distinct category, and discussing games as a medium that's gone beyond simply being "toys" is important in legitimizing its artistic value.

I don't agree the discussions should be tied together, but, I would be with you in arguing that toy design is art.

Edit: a simpler way to sum up how I feel-- some games are similar to/designed like toys, but that doesn't mean the medium as a whole should be considered a part of the toy category.

Well, part of my issue is that I don't feel the connotation of toys being for children is something that should keep being a thing.

There's a long seated stigma about play in most of our current day culture that's becoming, over time, one of those weird social contradictions no one fully wants to address. People need to play. People need playtime. Kids, adults, and elders. Back up a couple hundred years ago, and this wasn't even an issue; most of society regarded play as a required activity, and even integrated it into learning, work, celebration, etc. For some reason, the swap to the current capitalist society threw a bunch of conflicting interests into this, and suddenly, play is something only kids can do.

And yet we keep having constant shows that maybe it shouldn't be that way. Playing pretend on elementary school is for kids, but add a few dice rolls and suddenly it's an engaging tabletop RPG for adults. Building Legos and playing with them is for kids, yet we have adults buying very expensive collector's kits and dedicating their time to putting them together and displaying. And videogames, we keep feeling the need to elevate them to a higher form of art, but the reality is that, they're still toys. They're just the best goddamn toys humanity has come up with, to the point they challenge these arbitrary limits we've imposed into our own society.

Artists can in fact tell a narrative through toys, or express ideas, or combine several forms of art into them. We live in the era where the barrier between videogame and toy is blurring, too. See Lego Mario for example; or any modern virtual pet, or any toy making use of augmented reality. And even more basic toys get completely different context and uses when you give them to a developed adult. We've all played with action figures or dolls as kids. Have you tried to do it as an adult? The stories, narratives and experiences you can come up with are completely different. Is, in a sense, a completely different way of self expression most people lack.

This is not a fight where we need to single out part of the medium as the savior; this is a fight for the entire concept of playtime and leisure being an art. Because at the end of the day, that might actually be better for our entire society, than just elevating part of toys over the rest.
 

Nmanic

Piranha Plant
Pronouns
He/Him
Well, part of my issue is that I don't feel the connotation of toys being for children is something that should keep being a thing.

There's a long seated stigma about play in most of our current day culture that's becoming, over time, one of those weird social contradictions no one fully wants to address. People need to play. People need playtime. Kids, adults, and elders. Back up a couple hundred years ago, and this wasn't even an issue; most of society regarded play as a required activity, and even integrated it into learning, work, celebration, etc. For some reason, the swap to the current capitalist society threw a bunch of conflicting interests into this, and suddenly, play is something only kids can do.

And yet we keep having constant shows that maybe it shouldn't be that way. Playing pretend on elementary school is for kids, but add a few dice rolls and suddenly it's an engaging tabletop RPG for adults. Building Legos and playing with them is for kids, yet we have adults buying very expensive collector's kits and dedicating their time to putting them together and displaying. And videogames, we keep feeling the need to elevate them to a higher form of art, but the reality is that, they're still toys. They're just the best goddamn toys humanity has come up with, to the point they challenge these arbitrary limits we've imposed into our own society.

Artists can in fact tell a narrative through toys, or express ideas, or combine several forms of art into them. We live in the era where the barrier between videogame and toy is blurring, too. See Lego Mario for example; or any modern virtual pet, or any toy making use of augmented reality. And even more basic toys get completely different context and uses when you give them to a developed adult. We've all played with action figures or dolls as kids. Have you tried to do it as an adult? The stories, narratives and experiences you can come up with are completely different. Is, in a sense, a completely different way of self expression most people lack.

This is not a fight where we need to single out part of the medium as the savior; this is a fight for the entire concept of playtime and leisure being an art. Because at the end of the day, that might actually be better for our entire society, than just elevating part of toys over the rest.
I legitimately, completely agree with everything you've said about toys and their values (I love toys as an adult!) I just think games should be considered a distinct category when discussing its artistic merits. They're very different than toys!

I agree on everything, just not that categorization. Also, the initial post I responded to called games "glorified electronic toys" which felt like it had a very reductive connotation to it. So, I don't think you disagree with the core of what I feel, about respecting the art form.

Edit: this is frustrating to me because I don't think we're at odds, I just don't consider toys to be the same medium for art as games. I think many people can agree with that.

I also don't think I ever implied that toys weren't capable of having similar artistic merits. I just think what they can achieve, and the design that goes into it, merits its separation from games when discussing the artistic value of either.


One more edit:

I don't feel like I've tried to elevate games to some insanely high categories above toys either. I'm just saying they're valuable in different ways.
 
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carlosfilho

Like Like
Founder
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You shouldn't let others' opinions prevent you from stating your own. Of course, you'll have to deal with the fact that some people disagree with you, but that's not the reason for your thread, right? It's more about those echo chambers that take over game discourse (and media in general, i should say) sometimes. No one is entitled to impose what you're supposed to like. You must not impose your tastes on everyone else, either. But when it comes to certain aspects of gaming, like "X is a lazy port", "Y has bad graphics", "Z's plot is a mess" ... These aren't exactly a matter of tastes, these are subjects that must be discussed, and if you think an echo chamber is forming around weak arguments, then you're most welcome to present your own.
 

Phantom Thief

The Ghost of Tsushima
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I think your message is good but disagree on reducing video games to glorified electronic toys. Maybe some are, but many games are the culmination of countless hours spent by people who are passionately striving to make a work of art that combines several other disciplines like music, visual art, narrative, game design etc to make a work that's greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe you agree, and I misread your intent, but I felt the need to respond with this perspective when I saw an art form I'm passionate about be referred to the way you did.
Oh for sure, I don't mean to diminish or trivialize the work that goes into these games at all. I was more reducing them to their constituent components to point out that ultimately, it doesn't matter what you like, it's not that deep.

And absolutely, games can be meaningful, powerful, personally resonant experiences for their audiences as well. But that's just the thing, they are powerful and resonant on a personal level. In other words, you like what you like. If you tell me that Among Us made you come to terms with your fears over parenthood, I would probably be confused, but I would also totally accept it, because everyone interprets and reacts to media separately, and all our takes and interpretations are valid.

If OP likes Fallout 76 or Pokemon Brilliant Diamond or Gran Turismo 7, then some nerds shrieking about how those games are actually bad shouldn't diminish or take away from what those games mean to them, personally.
 

Tamantayoshi

Piranha Plant
I felt the same way with how much I enjoyed skyward sword (and probably lots of other games as well tbh), thought I may have just been weird. So I replayed it many times just waiting for that moment where I would be like " yep I finally get why this game sucks", but it never came. In fact, every time I replay it, I love that game more and more. Preferences are preferences, and there's nothing wrong with it. It's fun to debate about video games but in the end, they are just games, and we are supposed to have fun playing what we like.
 

Sadist

Mad Titan
Founder
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FamiGold
1
You like what you like. That's all there is.

People telling you are wrong, ignore 'em.
 


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